Quote Of The Day

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Foreign Policy, Israel

“Israel has a special place in each of our hearts. But we recognize that neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a monopoly on right or wrong. While there is nothing “right” in raining rockets on Israeli families or dispatching suicide bombers, there is nothing “right” in punishing a million and a half already-suffering Gazans for the actions of the extremists among them.”
- J Street’s statement on the Gaza conflict.

For those of you who don’t know, J Street is a new organization dedicated to finding a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Here’s more…

J Street was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. We support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region.

J Street represents Americans, primarily but not exclusively Jewish, who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own – two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We believe ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the best interests of Israel, the United States, the Palestinians, and the region as a whole.

J Street supports diplomatic solutions over military ones, including in Iran; multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution; and dialogue over confrontation with a wide range of countries and actors when conflicts do arise.

Like it or not, it’s up to Israel to be the bigger party in all of this. And they’re going to have to give up some of the land they’ve taken over the years. There’s really no other solution at this point.


This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2009 and is filed under Foreign Policy, Israel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”

  1. David Says:

    Israel *did* give up Gaza, and the reward was multiple thousand rockets targeted at its civilians. Why would you recommend the same policy which failed so recently?

  2. Jeremy Says:

    I really think Americans at-large are fatigued by this
    intractable conflict. I’m personally of the view point that Israel uses its tragic past as a sympathy card in which they enact further tragedy on others in their quest for land and material. I don’t want to get in an discussion about this issue though. How long have U.S. presidents and administrations been “trying” to aid peace in Palestine? It’s hard to “aid” peace when the U.S. gives to Israel the most lopsided military and financial aid in the world. You don’t give the world’s most deadly military technology to “sue for peace.” No. Excuse me, but no. The U.S. government is literally in bed with Israel and is performing fellatio. Actions, not words speak. Our actions up to this point run counter to what we state publicly. Fighting for peace is like f’king for virginity.

  3. Steve Says:

    Calling the Gaza situation a concession on the part of Israel is like saying that Native Americans got a sweet deal. Take a look at the place sometime. A million and a half people crammed into an area that’s about a tenth of the size of Rhode Island with barely any running water, food or electricity. Did I mention the barbed wire and machine guns surrounding the place? To say nothing of the machine gun nests. Oh, and Israeli soldiers manning them have no compunctions about gunning down and killing children. Sounds like a paradise.

    As for the “thousands of rockets” raining down on civilians? Know how many this deadly rocket barrage has killed in Israel? TWENTY THREE. Know how many homes it’s destroyed? NONE. I’m sure in some red-state hawks’ minds this justifies the murdering of hundreds of innocent civilians, but not mine.

    Looking objectively at the situation, if I was in the same shape as the Palestinians, I’m not so sure I would react differently. A foreign power comes in, confiscates my home, moves me into a giant ghetto that’s surrounded by machine guns and then “puts me on a diet” by barely allowing me the necessities of life and depriving me of a job, simply because I have some neighbors who don’t know how to behave? I might not have listened to militant whack-jobs looking to even the score before, but I probably would after that.

    Stop buying into the Western media spin and looking at the actual numbers. Over TEN TIMES as many Palestinians have been since 2000 as Israelis have. Looking at who has the position of strength, I think it’s well past time that Israel stopped playing the victim card. You don’t get to go into a bar, beat a guy to death and then tell the cops he deserved it because he called your girlfriend fat.

  4. JeffMo Says:

    David asks a good question, “Why would you recommend the same policy which failed so recently?”

    Of course, he fails to apply that same question to the “policy” of endless retribution for past injustices.

    David, what makes you so sure that “multiple thousand rockets targeted as its civilians” was the effect of “giving up Gaza?” It sounds to me like you WANT to believe that one caused the other, in the absence of credible evidence that this is so.

  5. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Take a look at the place sometime. A million and a half people crammed into an area that’s about a tenth of the size of Rhode Island with barely any running water, food or electricity. Did I mention the barbed wire and machine guns surrounding the place? To say nothing of the machine gun nests. Oh, and Israeli soldiers manning them have no compunctions about gunning down and killing children

    Have you ever actually taken a look at the place, Steve? Here is some footage smuggled out of the largest concentration camp in the world on December 3rd, showing the holocaust of Palestinians at the hands of the Zionist Blockade.

    Looking objectively at the situation, if I was in the same shape as the Palestinians, I’m not so sure I would react differently.

    Thinking about maybe firing rockets at Jews, are you? Just one bag of rice away from believing that Jews are apes and pigs according to the scriptures of your religion, huh? Does solidarity with mass murderers make a middle-class boy like you feel a little less guilty about the sins of your ancestors?

    You don’t get to go into a bar, beat a guy to death and then tell the cops he deserved it because he called your girlfriend fat.

    Poor Jews, just cant take a joke – of being wiped off the map by terrorists and having rockets launched at them on a daily basis – ha ha, very funny Hamas! One question though, what if the guy pulls a knife on your fat Israeli girlfriend and tries to stab her to death, and she then pulls out a gun? Should she just accept being stabbed and wait until she is about to bleed to death before she fires a shot?

    I say Israelis should just wait until a rocket kills a Jew, and then the IDF gets a “Kill One Palestinian Free” coupon from the UN; they walk right up to an innocent Arab and shoot them in the head. That would be “fair.”

    Or just let Israel be wiped off the map by terrorists – that way all of the worlds problems would be solved.

  6. Mike Says:

    It was the effect of giving up Gaza because it gave Hamas strategic points in which they could target Israeli Towns. Theirs your credible evidence.

  7. Steve Says:

    Way to take all of my comments out of context.
    You go.

    I’m sure that not EVERY place there is a hell-hole. But a cherry-picked, sanitized view of the inside doesn’t really depict what the average norm is. A lot of people go into reservation casinos and immediately proclaim how great the Indians must have it. That doesn’t change the fact that many of them are starving, poorly educated, and lack basic necessities. Even the UN recognizes that fact.

    As for my desire to start firing rockets at Jews, I never said anything of the sort. Don’t try and cloud this by making it a religion thing. I like JEWS. Some of my best friends are Jews. Jews, on the whole, are wonderful people. Israel, however, is a different story. One really has to draw a distinction between the two. No more than you can talk about Americans and be talking about Christians. Would you defend somebody who rapes and murders your daughter simply because they are a Jew? My statement, taken in context, is that if I was locked up and deprived of my rights as a human being, I would consider taking violent action against my captors. AS I’m sure ANYONE would.

    In the US, you can observe the same phenomenon on a microcosm scale. In areas that are underdeveloped, poor folk tend to lash out violently to what they perceive as their oppressors. Over here, we call it CRIME. In response, we go after the CRIMINALS. Over there, they label it “terrorism” and bomb whole neighborhoods in response. Imagine if the US government had declared that in response to the Oklahoma City bombing, in order to get at the members of the group that McVey belonged to, they were carpet-bombing the city he lived in. I’m sure that’s an appropriate response, right?

    As for Israel being wiped off of the map? Let’s be real here. Israel is in NO DANGER of being wiped off of the map anytime soon. It must a sad existence if having one of the best-funded, highly-trained militaries on the planet still isn’t able to keep you safe from a handful of jackasses with AK-47s, rocks, and out-dated rocket launchers.

    Latest polls among Palestinians done by the UN show that over 70% of them are willing to recognize Israel as a state and wish to peacefully coexist with them. That’s more than enough incentive in my book to sit down at the bargaining table.

    Let’s face it, this isn’t about Israel defending itself from being “wiped off of the map”. This is about Israel refusing to deal with Hamas and wanting to get rid of them and using ANY MEANS to do so. I can only assume that if they kill enough Palestinians there eventually won’t be enough left to object to them taking what’s left of their land.

    I’ll throw your own argument back at you. When is enough enough? What would you consider an appropriate response? One hundred Palestinians for every dead Israeli? Hell, why stop there? Let’s make Israel REALLY safe. Let’s Nuke EVERY country in the Middle East where ANYBODY who says anything bad about Israel lives. Preemptive war, aside from being immoral, doesn’t work.

  8. Katrina Says:

    Less than 20 Israelis have been killed by rocket fire in the last year.

    Hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the last week.

    For every Israeli soldier killed, five Palestinian children have died. And that includes the four Israelis killed by friendly fire.

    Behold Israel’s “right to defend itself”.

  9. Anna Says:

    As the comments here prove, it’s almost impossible to get middle ground here. People are either pro Israel and pro Palestinian and have agendas of their own.

    Do I agree with the violence Israel visits on the Palestinians? No, they have blood on their hands. They are an aggressor country. But you know what? The Palestinians make it too easy for them TO BE an aggressor country as well. Both sides are guilty in the conflict which makes me wonder if, behind closed doors, it’s in the interests of the Muslims or the west for the conflict to end. The Muslim world loses their “We hate America and Israel” mantra and think of all those military companies making this stuff that would lose fortunes that they in turn are probably giving to politicians.

    And a last thought on Hamas. Hamas was finally democratically elected (and yes then sidelined) but they finally had a opportunity to show real leadership. And all they can say is “we have no control over the factions that are still bombing Israel?” Come on! Can you see America saying they have no control over their military (yes they scape goated abu grab soldiers – but they did go on trial and it did stop). Either they step up to the plate as statemen and control their country or they continue to be led by noses by Israel and other Muslim countries (Syria? Iran?) – BOTH of whom don’t appear to give a shit about the Palestinians.

    Yes, I feel for the Palestinian people – the innocent people who have to live with this fiasco because too many people place a higher value on their political agenda than human life. But it isn’t just America and Israel who are doing it. The Muslim world is plenty guilty too of saying “Poor Palestinians” while not doing a damn thing to help them.

  10. EssEnn Says:

    Jimmy your over reacting. Your points are valid but so over the top and just mental. One question, who was there before 1947?
    If I came to your town and placed the population in a school, surrounded you with a big fence, tanks, guns, how would you react?
    Now everything would be fine would it not? You being so perfect.

    Shame that I want the school I have penned you in. I cant do anything without a reason as I’m a heartless, self centred, brainwashed, religious zealot and must do things by an ancient book which has been re-written, over read and used to control people with. As no religions really want you murder women and children, actually most preach peace and compassion.

    So I need a reason. Well first I give you nothing to do and no freedom. Now remember that the school is yours, so is all the land and buildings that you can see through the fence (past the tanks, guns and military). I’m only waiting for one person to react and begin to be threatening, I go in the school and remove that person. You wont know what happened to them. Of course family or friends would be worried and get very agitated as well as the rest of the town in this little school.

    Someone in pure frustration throws a rock and makes a soldier bleed. I break someone’s legs in return. Your annoyed so throw more rocks as its the only thing you have. I fire a few rubber bullets to make you understand who is in charge. By now your pissed off, that not fair, we only have rocks! It calms for a while then one of the guards gets too close and gets killed. Well now I am going to get some pay back. Real bullets start flying in. As you in a small place the women and children are close and a few get hit, a child dies. It’s ok for me to fire into a school knowing there are women and children in there, that’s where the people are who killed the guard.

    This is where the cycle of murder happens. One guard is killed so I kill 2 men a woman and child.

    You see where I’m coming from? I know in the real world it is not that simple. I don’t agree with either side personally. Both did wrong and should have been able to just get along but as usual it only takes a few people (usually religious nut cases) to spoil it all. Jew’s and Muslims BOTH belong there. Both faiths stem from that region, both have religious places, places of worship. This is why it’s called the Holy Land. Blood should never be spilled on such ground.

    The ironic thing (I’ll prob get flamed for this, but its worth it) is that the Jew’s were persecuted and millions died during the holocaust. Now with Nazi gold they are doing what to the Palestinians?

  11. Steve Says:

    Don’t let my comments mislead you.
    I’m not pro-Palestinian by any means. Or rather, I am pro-Palestinian as in the AVERAGE Palestinian. I don’t mean the marginalized, whack-job, “kill-Israel” Palestinian. I mean the poor bastards who have been made to suffer over the actions of a handful of people who refuse to play by the rules.

    Let’s have a little exercise, shall we?

    Let’s say I own a house. That house is infested with bees. They don’t really hurt me any. I get stung every now and then, but on the whole, they are a nuisance at best. I’d get rid of them if I could, but I’ve been out of work and can’t afford to.

    My neighbor has a child. That child is HIGHLY allergic to bees. One day, the child is playing outside and gets stung by one of the bees. My neighbor manages to rush the child to the hospital and the child lives. My neighbor is angry. He storms over to my house and asks me to get rid of the bees. I tell him that I would like to, but can’t afford to do so. This simply makes him angrier.

    A couple of weeks pass by. The child is playing outside again, and gets stung. This time, no one is home. The child dies. Everyone is sad, myself included. This time, the neighbor is ENRAGED. He is sad, hurt, and frankly irrational. He DEMANDS that I get rid of the bees NOW. I tell him that I would if I could, but that I just can’t afford to. My neighbor storms off.

    The next day, he comes back with boards and padlocks. He boards me up inside the house and padlocks all of the doors and windows. He tells me that he will let me out if I get rid of the bees.

    Naturally, being locked inside the house with the bees really doesn’t help the situation. In fact, it makes it worse. Unable to work or even look for work, I cannot get money to get rid of the bees. Likewise, I run out of food fairly quick. Other neighbors are kind enough to sneak food to me, but the angry neighbor simply chases them off.

    Weeks go by, and I still am unable to get rid of the bees. While keeping the other neighbors away, the angry one gets stung by a bee. At this point, he’s had it. He runs back home, gathers up some gasoline and matches and comes back and begins dousing down the house in gasoline. then he proceeds to light my house on fire, WITH ME IN IT. He figures that this will definitely get rid of the bees, and if I die, then it was my own fault for letting the bees live in my house.

    Now, who is right and who is wrong in this situation? Certainly, the man has suffered. He has lost his child. But frankly, it was the bees that killed him. While logically, I should have gotten rid of the bees, the fact is that I simply could not afford to. Does that absolve me of any responsibility? NO. But I don’t think it means that I deserve to have my house burnt down or to die. My guilt is guilt by association, whereas if I burn to death, it is as a direct result of this man’s actions.

    Many may be tempted to lay blame wholly at my feet, but the fact is that the man could have taken steps of his own to prevent his child’s death. Knowing my financial situation, he could have offered to help me pay to have the bees removed. He could have helped my get a job which would have thus allowed my to pay to have it done. In the extreme, he could have moved.

    Many people will be quick to say, “why should HE have to pay to get rid of bees in MY house?” That’s fine. But keep in mind that it’s only in HIS interest that I get rid of the bees. They haven’t really done anything to me in the short term. Granted, in the long-term they will be harmful, but I don’t really have the luxury of worrying about them now.

    Does everybody see the parallels? It’s not a perfect example, but it illustrates the point. These people don’t deserve death and destruction rained on them simply because of events that were instigated by a small segment of their populace. I’m purposely painting the neighbor to have a much more passive role in the situation than the Israelis have had, simply to illustrate the point further. Angry politics are bad politics.

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